Conferences and Major Events

Seminar | Tensions and contradictions in post-Chávez Venezuela

8 November, 2013
12.00 - 1.30 pm

Professor Steve Ellner
Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela
Jointly presented by the Department of Sociology and Social Social Policy; and SURCLA.

The movement in Venezuela formerly led by President Hugo Chávez and now Nicolás Maduro has been subject to tensions and contradictions that play out on various fronts including organized labor, middle sectors, and the traditionally unincorporated sectors of the population. Important areas of struggle that have produced controversy in and out of the Chavista movement include government expropriations, worker input in management decision-making and the promotion of communes consisting of government-promoted community councils.

The gradual and peaceful road to socialism faces two challenges without easy solutions: the tactics of political adversaries which set off government actions that end up intensifying conflict; and critiques among Chavistas who have a greater mobilization capacity than in the past. Professor Ellner’s talk will pose the question whether President Maduro is following in the footsteps of his predecessor and whether he will be able to maintain stability in light of the nation’s increasing volatility.

Professor Steve Ellner's academic interest centers on organized labor and political parties in Latin America and specifically Venezuela where he has lived and taught since 1975. He earned his Ph.D. in Latin American history at the University of New Mexico in 1980. Since 1977 has taught at the Universidad de Oriente in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, as well as having taught for a ten year period in the graduate school of law and political science of the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He has been a visiting professor at Georgetown University (2004), Duke University (2005), Universidad Central de Venezuela(1994-2006), Universidad de Buenos Aires (2010) and he is currently a Visting Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies at the Australian National University.

Among his book publications are: Venezuela's Movimiento al Socialismo: From Gurrilla Defeat to Electoral Politics (Duke University Press, 1988); Organized Labor in Venezuela, 1958-1991 (Scholarly Resources, l993); and Rethinking Venezuelan Politics: Class, Polarization and the Chávez Phenomenon (Lynne Rienner, 2008). He has published on the op-ed page of the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He was coordinator of the May 2013 issue of Latin American Perspectives: "Latin America’s Radical Left in Power: Complexities and Challenges in the Twenty-First Century."

Location: Room 148, R.C. Mills Building, Fisher Road

Contact:Michael Humphrey
Phone: 61 2 9351 6901
Email:michael.humphrey@sydney.edu.au